On Thursday morning, Latino Rebels received video footage and a media release from the Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center in El Paso that described the reunification of a mother and her two children.
According to the release, the mother —who has been separated since September 2017 under the Trump administration’s pilot family separation policy in El Paso— surprised her two children Tuesday night at a family gathering in Philadelphia. They had been apart for three and a half years.
“In a herculean effort to get her children out of harm’s way, this mother fled Honduras with her children after losing close family members to violence and facing direct threats to their lives. Instead of being met with dignity and compassion, the family was taken into custody, denied a translator or access to counsel, then traumatically torn apart. Her children were 13 and 15 at the time. Her children were held in CBP detention then transferred to a shelter, and ultimately reunited with extended family,” the release said.
“She was criminalized by our government, thrown into jail and then languished in ICE detention for nearly two years in El Paso, a notorious ‘asylum free zone.’ In 2019, she was deported to the same country she fled in fear, despite multiple efforts by Las Americas to halt her deportation and reunite her with her children. Her children are now 17 and 19, respectively,” the release added.
Linda Corchado, Director of Legal Services counsel for the reunited mother also added a statement in the release:
“Tuesday night, for the first time in three and a half years, two children were able to get a kiss goodnight from their mother after the U.S. government ripped them apart from the most important person in their lives. Children flee persecution every day around the world, and our country is capable of honoring our asylum laws and respecting the dignity of families. On Tuesday, we saw the power of a mother’s love. Let this be the example for the change we fight for every single day.”
According to the Las Americas, hundreds of children remain separated from families. This week, the Biden Administration announced that four families were to be reunited and that more reunifications will be happening, although it is not clear exactly when they will be officially occurring.
Las Americas also noted that “tens of thousands continue to be turned away under remaining Trump-era asylum policies.”